Number of cohabiting couples increases by more than 25 per cent in a decade

Graeme Fraser, a Partner at Finchley-based OGR Stock Denton and Chair of Resolution’s Cohabitation Committee, has commented on figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showing that the number of cohabiting families in the UK increased by more than 25 per cent from 2008 to 2018.

He said:

“These statistics should come as no surprise, with even the Prime Minister being in a cohabiting relationship.

“However, what many people do not realise is that cohabiting couples are at a major disadvantage in comparison with their married and civil partnered counterparts in many areas, including on the breakdown of a relationship, inheritance, death benefits, pensions and tax.

“For example, where only one party to a cohabiting relationship is named as the owner of the family home, the non-owning partner can be left with nothing on the breakdown of the relationship and no straightforward legal recourse.

“The fact that the number of cohabiting families is rising so quickly underscores the need for urgent reform so that couples who have lived together for a period of time enjoy certain automatic rights, unless they chose to opt out.”

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